Odd Museums of the US

If you think the word “museum” and instantly think of fine art or modern art, picnics in sculpture gardens, or brunching amid the work of Monet and Manet, you are not alone. There are a lot of other museums and museum-like attractions out there, though, including a ton of really odd ones.

In researching various strange little museums of offhand or off-kilter subjects (a few are quite gross), I worked to find at least one entry for each State in the US. Some States weighed in a little heavier than others.

A few of the places listed below were scavenged from an episode of Mental Floss (Ep. 210). Some I have actually visited in person and can vouch for. The rest are, of course, on my hit list of locations to visit. My apologies for any links that  appear to be totally off kilter – these are the reference sites I located for the individual attractions, many of which are so small they don’t have an active, independent website. Yet.

ALABAMA
Cook’s Natural Science Museum
Decatur, AL

ALASKA
Hammer Museum
Haines, AK

ARIZONA
Titan Missile Museum
Sahuarita, AZ

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum
North Little Rock, AR

CALIFORNIA
Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia
Burlingame, CA

Banned Toy and Classic Toy Museum
Burlingame, CA
(Shares building with PEZ Museum)

Museum of Death
Los Angeles, CA

The Museum of Jurassic Technology
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.mjt.org

International Banana Museum
Mecca, CA

The California Surf Museum
Oceanside, CA

COLORADO
Museum of Western Colorado: Dinosaur Journey
Fruita, CO

CONNECTICUT
The Garbage Museum
Stratford, CT

DELAWARE
Zwaanendael Museum
Lewes, DE

FLORIDA
Ernest Hemingway House
Key West, FL

GEORGIA
Margaret Mitchell House
Atlanta, GA

HAWAII
Pacific Tsunami Museum
Hilo, Big Island

IDAHO
Museum of Clean
Pocatello, ID

Oasis Bordello Museum
Wallace, ID

ILLINOIS
Historic Auto Attractions
Roscoe, IL

INDIANA
Museum of Miniature Houses
Carmel, IN

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
Indianapolis, IN

IOWA
The Hobo Museum
Britt, IA

KANSAS
The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum
LaCrosse, KS

OZ Museum
Wamego, KS

KENTUCKY
The Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum
Fort Mitchell KY

LOUISIANA
The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
New Orleans, LA

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
New Orleans, LA

MAINE
International Cryptozoology Museum
Portland, ME

MARYLAND
Ladew Topiary Gardens and House
Baltimore, MD

MASSACHUSETTES
Burnt Food Museum
Arlington, MA

Warren Anatomical Museum
Boston, MA

Beer Can Museum
East Taunton, MA

Museum of Bad Art
Dedham Square, MA

MICHIGAN
Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
Farmington Hills, MI

MINNESOTA
SPAM Museum
Austin MN

Museum of Questionable Medical Devices (closed?)
Parts of this collection are rumored to be found at the Science Museum of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN

MISSISSIPPI
Delta Blues Museum
Clarksdale, MS

MISSOURI
Leila’s Hair Museum
Independence, MO

MONTANA
American Computer & Robotics Museum
Bozeman, MT

NEBRASKA
The National Museum of Roller Skating
Lincoln, NE

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Americas Credit Union Museum
Manchester, NH

NEW JERSEY
Sterling Hill Mining Museum
Ogdensburg, NJ

NEW MEXICO
UFO Museum and Research Center
Roswell, New Mexico

NEW YORK
The Museum
New York City

The Elevator Historical Society
Queens, NY

NEVADA
The Neon Museum
Las Vegas, NV

NORTH CAROLINA
The Ava Gardner Museum
Smithfield, NC

Museum of Mountain Bike Art and Technology
Statesville, NC

NORTH DAKOTA
Roger Maris Museum
Fargo, ND

OHIO
American Sign Museum
Cincinatti OH

Warther Museum
Dover, OH

OKLAHOMA
Route 66 Interpretive Center
Chandler, OK

Museum of Osteology
Oklahoma City, OK

OREGON
The Faux Museum
Portland, OR

PENNSYLVANIA
Mutter Museum
Philadelphia, PA

Historical Dental Museum
Philadelphia, PA

RHODE ISLAND
South County Museum
Narragansett, RI

SOUTH CAROLINA
Parris Island Museum
Beaufort, SC

SOUTH DAKOTA
Porter Sculpture Park
Montrose, SD

TENNESSEE
International Towing and Recovery Museum
Chattanooga TN

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum
Gatlinburg, TN

TEXAS
Museum of the Weird
Austin TX

National Museum of Funeral History
Houston TX
Check out my post on this one here.

Devil’s Rope Barbed Wire Museum
McLean, TX

UTAH
St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site
St. George, UT

VERMONT
New England Maple Museum
Pittsford, VT

VIRGINIA
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
Alexandria, VA

The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe
Richmond, VA

WASHINGTON
The Center for Wooden Boats
Seattle, WA

WASHINGTON DC
International Spy Museum
Washington, DC

WEST VIRGINIA
Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine
Beckley, WV

WISCONSIN
Circus World Museum
Baraboo, Wisconsin

Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum
Burlington WI

House on  the Rock
Spring Green, WI

WYOMING
Museum of the Mountain Man
Pinedale, WY

And one from a neighboring island:

Photographic evidence of a recent trip to Iceland by photographer Jay Lee c. 2014.

Photographic evidence of a recent trip to Iceland by photographer Jay Lee c. 2014.

Icelandic Phallological Museum
Reykjavik Iceland

Photo by Jay Lee – Click the photo to see more of his fantastic imagery.

 

— Ann Cathey

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